CAM Waters has shone in treacherous conditions to grab provisional pole for the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000.
It was a classic wet qualifying thriller with times steadily tumbling.
And it ended in controversy, with Shane van Gisbergen and Macauley Jones colliding at the Esses in the dying stages, resulting in the latter hitting the wall heavily.
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That incident may have crushed the dreams of some looking for a last-ditch flyer, and it puts an element of doubt over van Gisbergen’s place in the Top 10 Shootout having qualified fourth.
Wedged between Waters and van Gisbergen were Lee Holdsworth and Chaz Mostert, while rounding out the top five was wildcard sensation Richie Stanaway.
There were plenty of high-profile omissions from the 10, including Anton De Pasquale (11th) who missed the Shootout after mucking up his last flying lap.
Also missing the cut was in-form Andre Heimgartner (12th) and Jamie Whincup (14th), who was selected over Broc Feeney to qualify the #88 Red Bull Ampol Racing ZB Commodore.
Those who did scrape through in positions sixth through 10th were Will Davison, Nick Percat, James Courtney, Brodie Kostecki and Will Brown.
It’s particularly notable that Erebus got three cars through to the Shootout, having raced to repair Brown’s #9 after a Practice 4 crash.
The session started with an immediate pair of scares for Tickford Racing teammates Thomas Randle and Jake Kostecki as Chaz Mostert skated around to set the initial benchmark at a 2:29.2143s.
Mostert and Waters traded blows lap after lap, as the fastest time was slashed to a 2:24.6876s by the mid-point of the 40-minute session, set by the Monster Energy Mustang driver.
At that point, it was Waters from Mostert, Courtney, Percat, Heimgartner, Jake Kostecki, Will Davison, De Pasquale, Randle and Holdsworth.
Van Gisbergen rocketed up the leaderboard on successive fast laps to spend a brief period at the top before the Waters and Mostert show resumed.
Entering the final two minutes, Waters, Holdsworth and Mostert were leading the way in the 2:23s while De Pasquale sat on the bubble just ahead of Heimgartner and Whincup, only for Brown to bump the #100 Shell V-Power Racing Team driver out.
Two more practice sessions will take place on Saturday ahead of the Top 10 Shootout at 5:05pm local time.
RESULTS: Supercars Qualifying, Repco Bathurst 1000
|1||6||Cameron Waters / James Moffat||Tickford||Ford||2m23.6168s|
|2||10||Lee Holdsworth / Matt Payne||Grove||Ford||+0.2128s|
|3||25||Chaz Mostert / Fabian Coulthard||WAU||Holden||+0.2193s|
|4||97||Shane van Gisbergen / Garth Tander||Triple Eight||Holden||+0.4497s|
|5||51||Richie Stanaway / Greg Murphy||Erebus||Holden||+0.7359s|
|6||17||Will Davison / Alex Davison||DJR||Ford||+0.8055s|
|7||2||Nick Percat / Warren Luff||WAU||Holden||+0.9466s|
|8||5||James Courtney / Zane Goddard||Tickford||Ford||+1.0287s|
|9||99||Brodie Kostecki / David Russell||Erebus||Holden||+1.1729s|
|10||9||Will Brown / Jack Perkins||Erebus||Holden||+1.3836s|
|11||100||Anton De Pasquale / Tony D’Alberto||DJR||Ford||+1.3914s|
|12||8||Andre Heimgartner / Dale Wood||BJR||Holden||+1.3962s|
|13||31||James Golding / Dylan O’Keeffe||PremiAir||Holden||+1.3981s|
|14||88||Broc Feeney / Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight||Holden||+1.5106s|
|15||55||Thomas Randle / Zak Best||Tickford||Ford||+1.5354s|
|16||888||Craig Lowndes / Declan Fraser||Triple Eight||Holden||+1.7356s|
|17||56||Jake Kostecki / Kurt Kostecki||Tickford||Ford||+1.8485s|
|18||26||David Reynolds / Matt Campbell||Grove||Ford||+1.8556s|
|19||35||Todd Hazelwood / Jayden Ojeda||MSR||Holden||+2.4575s|
|20||20||Scott Pye / Tyler Everingham||Team 18||Holden||+2.4596s|
|21||22||Chris Pither / Cameron Hill||PremiAir||Holden||+2.7914s|
|22||96||Macauley Jones / Jordan Boys||BJR||Holden||+3.0407s|
|23||18||Mark Winterbottom / Michael Caruso||Team 18||Holden||+3.3994s|
|24||14||Bryce Fullwood / Dean Fiore||BJR||Holden||+3.5201s|
|25||34||Jack Le Brocq / Aaron Seton||MSR||Holden||+3.9072s|
|26||118||Matt Chahda / Jaylyn Robotham||MCM||Holden||+4.6269s|
|27||4||Jack Smith / Jaxon Evans||BJR||Holden||+4.7645s|
|28||3||Tim Slade / Tim Blanchard||BRT||Ford||+7.7017s|